those useless trees

‘Yeah, the trees, those useless trees produce the air that I am breathing,
Yeah, the trees, those useless trees; they never said that you were leaving.’
Pulp, ‘The Trees’

It’s a place I always come back, I always went back, I always stop by. And I always remember too much of these trees. But they’re there. They’re gone again. And I don’t feel like doing like Jarvis sings at the end. I won’t go & tell it to the trees. Yeah.

summer break

Unfortunately, I was forced to do a Summer break in the Algarve, due to health reasons involving my father. All appears to be getting back on tracks, but it has been some anxious days these ones.

Although a side of my family is originally from the Algarve, I don’t come here that often.

These days I don’t feel like working for my thesis at the end of the day, not after spending most of it at the hospital, so I usually stroll in places I used to play at during my childhood.

in memoriam

Something terrible happened last Saturday, May 28, 2011. We gather today to honour our friend’s memory, someone we had the privilege to share our day-to-day life with.

You set the example, A. We will follow it today and everyday.

benelux

I haven’t mentioned how things went in my Benelux trip. Here it goes: business-wise, it went all according to planned, which helps but not necessarily means reaching the ultimate objective (probably more to follow about that). Leisure-wise, it couldn’t be better, with a wonderful mix of short encounters, sightseeing, relaxed moments and good conversation with friends I havent’t seen for a while.

Now let’s see when I will see them again…

over & out (of the country)

The end of a very long day. I had today my last exam, Transport Policy and Institutions they call it, and I’m now free from coursework, so grades allow it. Cross your fingers, will you?

I departed directly from IST to the Lisbon Airport, for an extended weekend in Brussels and Rotterdam ‘per lavoro e per piacere’. Brussels for business, Rotterdam for memories and to see some friends.

Please wish me luck – and a sound health and physical condition (it’s for the business part of the trip).

1st post (after the previous one)

OK, now that we know each other, let’s go for a quick recap of the story so far. I started my PhD program in September 2010. It comprises coursework during the first year, including the curricular unit Thesis Project, plus two years of research, at the end of which I am supposed to submit and defend my thesis. Of course it would be handy if I managed to start research while doing coursework, but given the usual lack of time for doing that plus the fact I’m studying part-time and squeezing my time between academic activities and job responsabilities, I’m finding that just a little bit difficult…

I had to enroll in five courses I chose with the help of my designated tutor: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, and Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations in the Fall semester; and Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions in the Spring semester. At some point during the year, I’ll have to find an academic that, based on a draft thesis proposal (I’ve already finished), will be designated as my official supervisor.

The moment I’m writing, I’m done with most of my coursework (reason why I found the time – and thought it would make sense – to start the blog) and I have only one exam left.

I think this is it. And now it’s time to go back studying. But not without wishing a Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.

editorial prospectus

I’m a transportation professional pursuing a PhD in Transportation Systems at IST – Technical University of Lisbon and currently working for APS – Port of Sines Authority, Portugal.

In 2007, I was granted a three-month internship at UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in Geneva, during which I should write my master’s thesis. In order to help me keeping track of time and sharing my days with friends & strangers, I decided to start a blog. Now that I’m beginning my PhD research, I thought about commiting the same mistake.

At this point, I’m still working on my research proposal and no definitive topic is set. Nevertheless, the thrust area will be ports and maritime transport, and the starting point is “Port Competition: Drivers and Boundaries of Integration for Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators”. Let’s see how this develops.

This blog is intended to serve as a diary of my research and day-to-day life during the forthcoming months. I’ll try to update it regularly and to post information about the progresses, doubts, and questions of my work. I will also post the nitty-gritty of living, working and looking at the Atlantic from the westernmost country of mainland Europe (and hopefully, from some other countries I’ll visit along the way). I don’t intend to lie.

My e-mail address is somewhere at the top-right corner of the blog and all messages are most welcome. Have fun.